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Animex award part of 'big three' alongside Oscar and Bafta

04 March 2013


A regular visitor to Teesside University’s annual festival of animation and computer games is celebrating triple success after scooping an Animex award to go alongside a recent Oscar and Bafta.

Hans Rijpkema, who was one of the creative forces behind the computer generated Bengal tiger in Ang Lee’s magical Life of Pi, is referring to his trophy haul as 'the big three' and is delighted to have an Animex award to go alongside the two more recognisable gongs.

Life of Pi, based on the fantastical tale by Yann Martel, was awarded both a Bafta and an Oscar for special visual effects.

Hans, from LA-based Rhythm and Hues studios, was part of the award-winning team that helped to create a tiger so realistic, many viewers thought it was real.

Since 2007, Hans has been attending Teesside University’s Animex festival to pass on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation. This year he was presented with a special Animex award for his support and dedication to the festival.

He said: 'Animex is great because it places students at the centre and allows lots of access to the speakers. I have been coming here since 2007 and will be making every effort to come again in the future.

'I am extremely happy to have received the Animex award and to be officially recognised in the history of this great festival. And this is one I get to keep myself, unlike the Oscar and the Bafta which will stand on top of someone else's fireplace.'

At this year’s Animex festival, held in February, Hans gave two presentations about the visual effects of Life of Pi. He was also a keynote speaker at AnimEXPO, a new strand to the Animex festival which provides a business focus to Animex and is presented by DigitalCity Innovation.

Hans added: 'Every now and then you get to work on a movie where everything seems to come together perfectly.

'We normally only have control over our contribution to the total movie, but in this case it did fit into a beautiful end result that not only made our hard work stand out, but showed that our work was an essential ingredient to the success of the film.

'To then see that other people share that view and to get all these awards is very gratifying.'

Gabrielle Kent, Animex organiser, said: 'Hans won our award for his continued commitment to the festival. He has been coming to Animex for a number of years – always going the extra mile to deliver additional talks – and his presentation this year blew everybody away.

'Hans is a perfect example of the calibre of speakers we regularly attract and to see our award standing proudly alongside an Oscar and a Bafta is really special. We look forward to welcoming Hans back to Animex for many years to come.'

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